Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Writing - The extraordinary power of words

I was reading one of my writing buddy's blog yesterday, it was about words and he quoted actor Jim Fiebig

'There's a wonder in reading Braille that the sighted will never know: to touch words and have them touch you back.'

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Jim Fiebig

I have researched information regarding the above and he did have a small part in Worzel Gummidge Down Under but seems to be better known for his business of selling jewellery in Michigan. He has been quoted on other subjects but the above I find is very powerful.

As writers we use words as the building blocks of the phrases, sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters and books that we write. Rather like the builder who builds a wall, setting the foundations, layering the bricks and inserting ties for strength; writers deposit the words on the page, their choice, in ways that they feel makes the statements that are welling up from inside. Sometimes, again like the bricklayer who uses a Flemish bond, a writer will try an alternative style. Readers may not get it straight away because it is different but the writer is not in the wrong for trying something different.

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Of course, use of words begins in the first year or so of life. My grandson is using 'dadda' much to his Mum's relief as it gives the opportunity to hand the child over to dad. The remarkable thing is the amazingly clever way a child handles words. In no time at all children move on from single utterances, to phrases, then sentences but also they learn tenses, even identifying regular and irregular verbs and even deciphering what adults intend when they don't say what they mean. By five a child answering the phone knows that the question 'Is your daddy in?' really means 'I want to speak to your daddy' and it helps us realise how special a child's language acquisition is. These early uses of words are remarkable and shows the human animal in its most enlightened form.

The amazing fact is that we have all gone through it and yet you hear supposedly iconic TV presenters who have clearly unlearned what they knew as a child.

Rant over, or avoided rather, the words we use are completely in our remit, You don't need posh qualifications to use them, no certificate is necessary because what you're doing is communicating. As we grow older we learn different styles for different situations. I remember a Yorkshire born English teacher back in the 1970's who was anything but posh until he answered the telephone. Have you a telephone voice and if so why is that? In a sense it is to aid communication which is devoid of visual clues.

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Words used are up to you.

God Bless